Majority of train services in Wales to be suspended by strike says Transport for Wales
The majority of train services in Wales will be suspended by the union strike in two weeks’ time, Transport for Wales have said.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 13 train operators, including services provided by Great Western Railway, Avanti West Coast and Cross Country which operate in Wales, will walk out on June 21, 23 and 25, in the biggest outbreak of industrial action in a generation.
Although Transport for Wales is not in dispute with RMT, they will be unable to operate their rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.
The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended, with the exception of services on the Core Valley Lines (CVL) north of Radyr in South Wales, they said.
There will be services to and from Radyr to Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil (reduced to an hourly service in each direction), with a bus service connection to Cardiff Central Station. Transport for Wales said they “expect these services to be very busy”.
There will be no services on the CVL routes to Rhymney, Coryton, Cardiff Bay and the City Line as signalling for those lines is operated by Network Rail.
There is also expected to be disruption on the days prior and after the industrial action.
Customers with existing tickets for travel from Monday 20th June to Sunday 26th June can use those tickets anytime between now and the 20th. Alternatively, customers may claim a full refund by contacting email@example.com
In the meantime, Transport for Wales are suspending sales of Advance tickets for the first three strike dates to minimise the number of people disrupted.
The disputes are over pay, jobs and pensions, with the union complaining that railway staff who worked through the pandemic are facing job cuts, a pay freeze and attacks on employment conditions.
Talks between Network Rail (NR) and the union are expected to be held in the next few days, sources told the PA news agency.
NR is also drawing up contingency plans, with the strikes expected to cause disruption to services for six days, from the first walkout on Tuesday June 21 to the day after the third strike.
Fewer than one in five trains are likely to run, and only between 7am and 7pm, probably only on main lines.
No direct talks are planned between the union and train operators, although the RMT said it is open to “meaningful negotiations” to try to resolve the dispute.
The strikes threaten widespread travel disruption during a number of major events, including concerts, Test match cricket and the Glastonbury festival, which starts on June 22.
The union said it will be the biggest strike on the railways since 1989.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and, despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry, with the support of the Government, has failed to take their concerns seriously.
“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1% and rising.
“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.”
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said the organisation is “doing everything we can” to avoid the strike action.
“There are two weeks until the first strike is planned. We will use this time to keep talking to our unions and, through compromise and common sense on both sides, we hope to find a solution and avoid the damage that strike action would cause all involved,” he said.
Rail Delivery Group chairman Steve Montgomery said the strikes are “needless and damaging”.
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